Biochemistry and Pharmacology - Research Publications

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 2040
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    Critical review of single-cell mechanotyping approaches for biomedical applications
    Chapman, M ; Rajagopal, V ; Stewart, A ; Collins, DJ (ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2024-06-11)
    Accurate mechanical measurements of cells has the potential to improve diagnostics, therapeutics and advance understanding of disease mechanisms, where high-resolution mechanical information can be measured by deforming individual cells. Here we evaluate recently developed techniques for measuring cell-scale stiffness properties; while many such techniques have been developed, much of the work examining single-cell stiffness is impacted by difficulties in standardization and comparability, giving rise to large variations in reported mechanical moduli. We highlight the role of underlying mechanical theories driving this variability, and note opportunities to develop novel mechanotyping devices and theoretical models that facilitate convenient and accurate mechanical characterisation. Moreover, many high-throughput approaches are confounded by factors including cell size, surface friction, natural population heterogeneity and convolution of elastic and viscous contributions to cell deformability. We nevertheless identify key approaches based on deformability cytometry as a promising direction for further development, where both high-throughput and accurate single-cell resolutions can be realized.
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    BECLIN1 is essential for intestinal homeostasis involving autophagy-independent mechanisms through its function in endocytic trafficking
    Tran, S ; Juliani, J ; Harris, TJ ; Evangelista, M ; Ratcliffe, J ; Ellis, SL ; Baloyan, D ; Reehorst, CM ; Nightingale, R ; Luk, IY ; Jenkins, LJ ; Ghilas, S ; Yakou, MH ; Inguanti, C ; Johnson, C ; Buchert, M ; Lee, JC ; De Cruz, P ; Duszyc, K ; Gleeson, PA ; Kile, BT ; Mielke, LA ; Yap, AS ; Mariadason, JM ; Douglas Fairlie, W ; Lee, EF (NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2024-02-20)
    Autophagy-related genes have been closely associated with intestinal homeostasis. BECLIN1 is a component of Class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complexes that orchestrate autophagy initiation and endocytic trafficking. Here we show intestinal epithelium-specific BECLIN1 deletion in adult mice leads to rapid fatal enteritis with compromised gut barrier integrity, highlighting its intrinsic critical role in gut maintenance. BECLIN1-deficient intestinal epithelial cells exhibit extensive apoptosis, impaired autophagy, and stressed endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. Remaining absorptive enterocytes and secretory cells display morphological abnormalities. Deletion of the autophagy regulator, ATG7, fails to elicit similar effects, suggesting additional novel autophagy-independent functions of BECLIN1 distinct from ATG7. Indeed, organoids derived from BECLIN1 KO mice show E-CADHERIN mislocalisation associated with abnormalities in the endocytic trafficking pathway. This provides a mechanism linking endocytic trafficking mediated by BECLIN1 and loss of intestinal barrier integrity. Our findings establish an indispensable role of BECLIN1 in maintaining mammalian intestinal homeostasis and uncover its involvement in endocytic trafficking in this process. Hence, this study has important implications for our understanding of intestinal pathophysiology.
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    Prior infection with unrelated neurotropic virus exacerbates influenza disease and impairs lung T cell responses
    Foo, IJ-H ; Chua, BY ; Clemens, EB ; Chang, SY ; Jia, X ; McQuilten, HA ; Yap, AHY ; Cabug, AF ; Ashayeripanah, M ; McWilliam, HEG ; Villadangos, JA ; Evrard, M ; Mackay, LK ; Wakim, LM ; Fazakerley, JK ; Kedzierska, K ; Kedzierski, L (NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2024-03-23)
    Immunity to infectious diseases is predominantly studied by measuring immune responses towards a single pathogen, although co-infections are common. In-depth mechanisms on how co-infections impact anti-viral immunity are lacking, but are highly relevant to treatment and prevention. We established a mouse model of co-infection with unrelated viruses, influenza A (IAV) and Semliki Forest virus (SFV), causing disease in different organ systems. SFV infection eight days before IAV infection results in prolonged IAV replication, elevated cytokine/chemokine levels and exacerbated lung pathology. This is associated with impaired lung IAV-specific CD8+ T cell responses, stemming from suboptimal CD8+ T cell activation and proliferation in draining lymph nodes, and dendritic cell paralysis. Prior SFV infection leads to increased blood brain barrier permeability and presence of IAV RNA in brain, associated with increased trafficking of IAV-specific CD8+ T cells and establishment of long-term tissue-resident memory. Relative to lung IAV-specific CD8+ T cells, brain memory IAV-specific CD8+ T cells have increased TCR repertoire diversity within immunodominant DbNP366+CD8+ and DbPA224+CD8+ responses, featuring suboptimal TCR clonotypes. Overall, our study demonstrates that infection with an unrelated neurotropic virus perturbs IAV-specific immune responses and exacerbates IAV disease. Our work provides key insights into therapy and vaccine regimens directed against unrelated pathogens.
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    Combination of bazedoxifene with chemotherapy and SMAC-mimetics for the treatment of colorectal cancer
    Dmello, RS ; Palmieri, M ; Thilakasiri, PS ; Doughty, L ; Nero, TL ; Poh, AR ; To, SQ ; Lee, EF ; Fairlie, WD ; Mielke, L ; Parker, MW ; Poon, IKH ; Batlle, E ; Ernst, M ; Chand, AL (SPRINGERNATURE, 2024-04-10)
    Excessive STAT3 signalling via gp130, the shared receptor subunit for IL-6 and IL-11, contributes to disease progression and poor survival outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer. Here, we provide evidence that bazedoxifene inhibits tumour growth via direct interaction with the gp130 receptor to suppress IL-6 and IL-11-mediated STAT3 signalling. Additionally, bazedoxifene combined with chemotherapy synergistically reduced cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in patient-derived colon cancer organoids. We elucidated that the primary mechanism of anti-tumour activity conferred by bazedoxifene treatment occurs via pro-apoptotic responses in tumour cells. Co-treatment with bazedoxifene and the SMAC-mimetics, LCL161 or Birinapant, that target the IAP family of proteins, demonstrated increased apoptosis and reduced proliferation in colorectal cancer cells. Our findings provide evidence that bazedoxifene treatment could be combined with SMAC-mimetics and chemotherapy to enhance tumour cell apoptosis in colorectal cancer, where gp130 receptor signalling promotes tumour growth and progression.
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    Cathepsin X deficiency alters the processing and localisation of cathepsin L and impairs cleavage of a nuclear cathepsin L substrate
    Xu, B ; Anderson, BM ; Mountford, SJ ; Thompson, PE ; Mintern, JD ; Edgington-Mitchell, LE (WALTER DE GRUYTER GMBH, 2024-05-27)
    Proteases function within sophisticated networks. Altering the activity of one protease can have sweeping effects on other proteases, leading to changes in their activity, structure, specificity, localisation, stability, and expression. Using a suite of chemical tools, we investigated the impact of cathepsin X, a lysosomal cysteine protease, on the activity and expression of other cysteine proteases and their inhibitors in dendritic cells. Among all proteases examined, cathepsin X gene deletion specifically altered cathepsin L levels; pro-cathepsin L and its single chain accumulated while the two-chain form was unchanged. This effect was recapitulated by chemical inhibition of cathepsin X, suggesting a dependence on its catalytic activity. We demonstrated that accumulation of pro- and single chain cathepsin L was not due to a lack of direct cleavage by cathepsin X or altered glycosylation, secretion, or mRNA expression but may result from changes in lysosomal oxidative stress or pH. In the absence of active cathepsin X, nuclear cathepsin L and cleavage of the known nuclear cathepsin L substrate, Lamin B1, were diminished. Thus, cathepsin X activity selectively regulates cathepsin L, which has the potential to impact the degree of cathepsin L proteolysis, the nature of substrates that it cleaves, and the location of cleavage.
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    Spatial-Temporal Mapping Reveals the Golgi as the Major Processing Site for the Pathogenic Swedish APP Mutation: Familial APP Mutant Shifts the Major APP Processing Site
    Wang, J ; Gleeson, PA ; Fourriere, L (WILEY, 2024-03)
    Alzheimer's disease is associated with increased levels of amyloid beta (Aβ) generated by sequential intracellular cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by membrane-bound secretases. However, the spatial and temporal APP cleavage events along the trafficking pathways are poorly defined. Here, we use the Retention Using Selective Hooks (RUSH) to compare in real time the anterograde trafficking and temporal cleavage events of wild-type APP (APPwt) with the pathogenic Swedish APP (APPswe) and the disease-protective Icelandic APP (APPice). The analyses revealed differences in the trafficking profiles and processing between APPwt and the APP familial mutations. While APPwt was predominantly processed by the β-secretase, BACE1, following Golgi transport to the early endosomes, the transit of APPswe through the Golgi was prolonged and associated with enhanced amyloidogenic APP processing and Aβ secretion. A 20°C block in cargo exit from the Golgi confirmed β- and γ-secretase processing of APPswe in the Golgi. Inhibition of the β-secretase, BACE1, restored APPswe anterograde trafficking profile to that of APPwt. APPice was transported rapidly through the Golgi to the early endosomes with low levels of Aβ production. This study has revealed different intracellular locations for the preferential cleavage of APPwt and APPswe and Aβ production, and the Golgi as the major processing site for APPswe, findings relevant to understand the molecular basis of Alzheimer's disease.
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    Ultrastructural and glycoproteomic characterization of Prevotella intermedia: Insights into O-glycosylation and outer membrane vesicles
    Ye, X ; Paul, B ; Mo, J ; Reynolds, EC ; Ghosal, D ; Veith, PD (WILEY, 2024-04)
    Prevotella intermedia, a Gram-negative bacterium from the Bacteroidota phylum, is associated with periodontitis. Other species within this phylum are known to possess the general O-glycosylation system. The O-glycoproteome has been characterized in several species, including Tannerella forsythia, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Flavobacterium johnsoniae. In our study, we used electron cryotomography (cryoET) and glycoproteomics to reveal the ultrastructure of P. intermedia and characterize its O-glycoproteome. Our cryoET analysis unveiled the ultrastructural details of the cell envelope and outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) of P. intermedia. We observed an electron-dense surface layer surrounding both cells and OMVs. The OMVs were often large (>200 nm) and presented two types, with lumens being either electron-dense or translucent. LC-MS/MS analyses of P. intermedia fractions led to the identification of 1655 proteins, which included 62 predicted T9SS cargo proteins. Within the glycoproteome, we identified 443 unique O-glycosylation sites within 224 glycoproteins. Interestingly, the O-glycosylation motif exhibited a broader range than reported in other species, with O-glycosylation found at D(S/T)(A/I/L/M/T/V/S/C/G/F/N/E/Q/D/P). We identified a single O-glycan with a delta mass of 1531.48 Da. Its sequence was determined by MS2 and MS3 analyses using both collision-induced dissociation and high-energy collisional dissociation fragmentation modes. After partial deglycosylation with trifluoromethanesulfonic acid, the O-glycan sequence was confirmed to be dHex-dHex-HexNAc (HPO3 -C6 H12 O5 )-dHex-Hex-HexA-Hex(dHex). Bioinformatic analyses predicted the localization of O-glycoproteins, with 73 periplasmic proteins, 53 inner membrane proteins, 52 lipoproteins, 26 outer membrane proteins, and 14 proteins secreted by the T9SS.
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    Photophysical Identification of Three Kinds of Low-Energy Green Band Defects in Wide-Bandgap Polyfluorenes
    Bo, Y-F ; Liu, Y-Y ; Soleimaninejad, H ; Yu, M-N ; Xie, L-H ; Smith, TA ; Ghiggino, KP ; Huang, W (AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2019-04-04)
    Blue-light-emitting semiconductors based on polyfluorenes often exhibit an undesired green emission band. In this report, three well-defined oligofluorenes corresponding to three types of "defects" attributed to aggregation, keto formation, and chain entanglement, respectively, are systemically investigated to unveil the origins of the green emission band in fluorene-based materials. First, the optical properties of defect molecules in different states are studied. The defect associated with aggregation is absent in dilute solutions and in films doped at 0.01 wt % with poly(methyl methacrylate). Second, the dependence of the emission spectra on the solvent was monitored to compare the effects of the "keto-" and "chain-entanglement defect" molecules. The green emission of keto defects exhibited a strong dependence on solvent polarity, whereas this cannot be observed in case of chain-entanglement defect. Third, energy transfer between poly[4-(octyloxy)-9,9-diphenylfluoren-2,7-diyl]- co-[5-(octyloxy)-9,9-diphenyl-fluoren-2,7-diyl] and the keto or chain-entanglement defect molecules is illustrated. Compared to those of the chain-entanglement defect, the spectra of the keto defect molecule (1:10-3) show signs of defect emission at lower proportions. These investigations not only provide insight into the photophysics of oligofluorenes but also supply a new strategy to explore defects in semiconductor polymers, which will aid in the development of effective approaches to obtain stable, pure blue organic light-emitting diodes based on polyfluorenes.
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    Interplay of intracellular and trans-cellular DNA methylation in natural archaeal consortia
    Reva, ON ; La Cono, V ; Crisafi, F ; Smedile, F ; Mudaliyar, M ; Ghosal, D ; Giuliano, L ; Krupovic, M ; Yakimov, MM (WILEY, 2024-04)
    DNA methylation serves a variety of functions across all life domains. In this study, we investigated archaeal methylomics within a tripartite xylanolytic halophilic consortium. This consortium includes Haloferax lucertense SVX82, Halorhabdus sp. SVX81, and an ectosymbiotic Candidatus Nanohalococcus occultus SVXNc, a nano-sized archaeon from the DPANN superphylum. We utilized PacBio SMRT and Illumina cDNA sequencing to analyse samples from consortia of different compositions for methylomics and transcriptomics. Endogenous cTAG methylation, typical of Haloferax, was accompanied in this strain by methylation at four other motifs, including GDGcHC methylation, which is specific to the ectosymbiont. Our analysis of the distribution of methylated and unmethylated motifs suggests that autochthonous cTAG methylation may influence gene regulation. The frequency of GRAGAaG methylation increased in highly expressed genes, while CcTTG and GTCGaGG methylation could be linked to restriction-modification (RM) activity. Generally, the RM activity might have been reduced during the evolution of this archaeon to balance the protection of cells from intruders, the reduction of DNA damage due to self-restriction in stressful environments, and the benefits of DNA exchange under extreme conditions. Our methylomics, transcriptomics and complementary electron cryotomography (cryo-ET) data suggest that the nanohaloarchaeon exports its methyltransferase to methylate the Haloferax genome, unveiling a new aspect of the interaction between the symbiont and its host.
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    SLAM-ITseq identifies that Nrf2 induces liver regeneration through the pentose phosphate pathway
    Tan, VWT ; Salmi, TM ; Karamalakis, AP ; Gillespie, A ; Ong, AJS ; Balic, JJ ; Chan, Y-C ; Bladen, CE ; Brown, KK ; Dawson, MA ; Cox, AG (CELL PRESS, 2024-04-08)
    The liver exhibits a remarkable capacity to regenerate following injury. Despite this unique attribute, toxic injury is a leading cause of liver failure. The temporal processes by which the liver senses injury and initiates regeneration remain unclear. Here, we developed a transgenic zebrafish model wherein hepatocyte-specific expression of uracil phosphoribosyltransferase (UPRT) enabled the implementation of SLAM-ITseq to investigate the nascent transcriptome during initiation of liver injury and regeneration. Using this approach, we identified a rapid metabolic transition from the fed to the fasted state that was followed by induction of the nuclear erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) antioxidant program. We find that activation of Nrf2 in hepatocytes is required to induce the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and improve survival following liver injury. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that inhibition of the PPP disrupts nucleotide biosynthesis to prevent liver regeneration. Together, these studies provide fundamental insights into the mechanism by which early metabolic adaptation to injury facilitates tissue regeneration.